Memoirs of Ralph Rulach

Interviewee:                          Ralph Rulach
Born:                                    April 1946
Date of Interview:                  18th August 2014
Length of Interview:               Part 1: 57 minutes, Part 2: 26 minutes
Interviewer:                           Wayne Vidal



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CLICK HERE to listen on a mobile device.

Living on a beach in Negombo Ralph had no need for TV. A young explorer of the great outdoors he developed a 6th sense for avoiding crocodiles and snakes. Sit back and enjoy Ralph’s lilting voice as he talks about the hard working, hard partying Railway Burghers and his adventures in London Town.

Detailed summary (with time stamping for ease of access)


Part 1(of 2)

0:00:18.7: When I was born.

0:00:51.1: My memories of Ceylon (the place of my birth).

0:01:53.2: Growing up in Ceylon.

0:07:45.3: Family relationships in Ceylon.

0:11:03.1: The lifestyle of a school child in Ceylon.

0:13:52.0: Beautiful, dangerous, insightful and warm memories from my youth.

0:18:15.4: Christmas in Ceylon.

0:25:56.3: A story that illustrates the natural Burgher sense of humour.

0:29:03.6: Afghan money lending and the railway.

0:31:14.4: The Railway Burghers - The legendary 'Railway Institute'.

0:32:58.4: Reasons for leaving Ceylon.

0:35:34.7: The exodus begins.

0:36:20.3: The rioting and murdering.

0:38:51.0: My family began to leave.

0:39:43.4: Destinations of escape.

0:40:23.0: Enlightenment and the Honk Kong & Shanghai Bank (HSBC).

0:41:52.3: How I came to England in just 10 days.

0:44:04.6: Why I didn't go to Australia.

0:45:50.7: First impressions of England, fresh from the plane.

0:48:43.1: The Duckworths of Dollis Hill, oasis and exploring London.

0:50:16.7: Moving into HSBC London. I became a Londoner.

0:54:09.0: What to expect if you go to Sri Lanka now on holiday.

0:54:22.1: Experiences on returning to Ceylon for the first time in 17 years.

0:55:10.5: Cricketing childhood memories from Ceylon, revisited.

Part 2 (of 2)

0:00:00.0: Differences in working environments between Ceylon and London.

0:01:32.1: Cultural differences between lifestyles in Ceylon and London.

0:03:09.3: Racism?

0:04:15.3: Burgher social life in London, centering around Dollis Hill and beyond.

0:06:26.7: Adaptations needed to thrive in London.

0:08:01.2: Noticeable differences between Burgher social life in Ceylon and London.

0:11:50.6: The music of my youth, in Ceylon.

0:13:39.8: The Railway Institute, their 'spiritual home' and pilgrimages.

0:16:21.4: Academic Burghers in contrast to the Railway Burghers.

0:18:03.0: Burghers, the Ceylonese party animals.

0:18:56.2: The character of the Railway Burghers and tales of an end of an era.

0:20:47.5: The character of home life in Ceylon.

0:21:44.9: UK Burghers: The Next Generation.

0:23:41.7: The gradual Anglicisation of UK Burghers.

0:24:19.3: The fragmentation of the original Ceylonese Burgher community.

0:25:28.5: Burghers in the UK Message.

The End